April 27, 2016
Mark made the following interventions in a debate about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) As the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) rightly pointed out, the size of the stake—up to £100—and the very short cycle make FOBTs a particularly aggressive form of gambling that encourages fast repeat visits. FOBTs now account for almost half […]
May 28, 2015
As the Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Football for the past 8 years, this week’s deeply concerning allegations surrounding senior FIFA officials unfortunately comes as no great surprise. The news does however beg the question – why did the Football Association (FA) decide to enter into a bidding process for the […]
December 4, 2013
Gaming machines have hit headlines recently after fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) were dubbed the crack cocaine of the high street because of their addictive qualities. Britons gambled £46 billion on betting terminals last year, an increase of almost 50 per cent in the last four years, and today parliament considers an amendment to regulations […]
July 16, 2012
Every year the programme of concerts in Hyde Park provokes a string of emails and letters to me from residents disturbed by noise and general disruption. In this Olympic year, the number of events has increased and their impact, added to dreadful summer weather, has given our glorious Park a pummelling. Last summer, I tabled a debate in the House of Commons to outline my concerns about commercialisation of the Parks, set out my opposition to the transfer...
July 12, 2011
Seldom are there many votes, or any outpouring of public support, for MPs who promote large infrastructure projects affecting their locality. This is especially true of disruptive construction work necessitating the demolition of homes, years of wrangling over arrangements for compulsory purchase or its terms and endless traffic disruption. I know this all too well. The £17 billion Crossrail project has disturbed, blighted and infuriated thousands of my central London electors in recent years and will continue to do so for much of this decade.
February 28, 2011
The changing of Britain’s clocks to has been much debated following the Daylight Saving Bill passing its Second Reading in the House last December. I attended Parliament for the debate and voted in favour of this issue being allowed to have further parliamentary examination. The Bill proposes a three year trial which would result in Britain’s clocks shifting one hour forward throughout the
February 7, 2011
Mark has received a very high volume of emails about the government's consultation on whether or not to sell off tracts of publicly-owned forests. Pasted below is the reply he sent today to constituents.
December 3, 2010
So the recriminations begin in earnest. Only our elimination from the footballing competition proper brings more soul-searching than the repeated failures of England to secure the right to host the World Cup since 1966. First in line the media. The Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama investigations about FIFA corruption will be regarded as pivotal. Next the process itself. For the first time FIFA insisted that the decisions about hosting the 2018 and 2022 tournaments should be made at the same time. Those wily Russians and Qataris cut their deals...
September 3, 2010
FC Barcelona, one of the world's most successful football clubs, is famously run on a co-operative basis – in short it is a private non-profit making sports association. The Club is owned and run by its 175,000 members who each pay an annual membership fee of approximately £150 bringing in around £25 million. Members have voting rights similar to that of a Co-operative Community Benefit Society in the UK and as a body they are able to dictate the future direction of their club. Fan ownership has led to FC Barcelona being placed at the very heart of the fiercely independent Catalonian region which has a population of over 7.5 million. Barcelona supplemented their ...
July 15, 2010
Mark is Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Football. A keen follower of lower league professional football, he has visited several Football League clubs during the last few months to investigate problems in the game. The following is the full version of an article he has written about the state of our national game. An abridged version featured this morning on the Guardian's blog: ...